U.S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney
District of Minnesota
District of Minnesota
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
B. Todd Jones, United States Attorney
Contact: Jeanne F. Cooney, Director of Community Relations
Wisconsin Felon Pleads Guilty to Possessing Firearm, Methamphetamine
Earlier today in federal court in Minneapolis, a 32-year-old felon from Amery, Wisconsin, pleaded guilty to possessing with intent to distribute methamphetamine and being a felon in possession of a firearm. John Philip Schanon pleaded guilty to the two charges before United States District Court Judge John R. Tunheim.
In his plea agreement, Schanon admitted that on June 2, 2010, he possessed and sold a Romarm Draco pistol. In addition, Schanon admitted that between September 26 and October 17, 2010, he conspired with others to distribute 50 or more grams of methamphetamine.
Because he is a felon, Schanon is prohibited under federal law from possessing a firearm at any time. Schanon’s prior felony convictions include homicide by negligent vehicle operation in St. Croix County, Wisconsin, in 2002, and fifth-degree possession of a controlled substance in Ramsey County in 2010.
For his crimes, Schanon faces a potential maximum penalty of life in prison on the methamphetamine-related charge, with a mandatory minimum penalty of ten years. He also faces potential maximum penalties of ten years on the charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Judge Tunheim will determine his sentence at a future hearing, yet to be scheduled.
This case is the result of an investigation by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives-Violent Crime Impact Team and the Minneapolis Police Department’s Gang Enforcement Team. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Allen A. Slaughter.
Note, this case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, an initiative launched by the U.S. Justice Department in 2001 to promote a multi-jurisdictional, comprehensive approach to reducing gun crime in America. PSN provides resources to strengthen law enforcement and crime prevention partnerships that are working to make our streets and communities safer.